I wish I knew exactly where I am, and where I’m going.
I’d love to feel that I were in a definitive place, a specific location, and that my religious, spiritual, and philosophical journey had mile markers, and rest areas, and scenic turnouts where I could admire the view before ending up at a planned destination with a soft bed, climate control, and room service. I also have a sneaking suspicion that I am not alone in this wish, but I know I have trouble remembering that it is the journey that is supposed to matter when I’m hot, tired, and in need of some sort of spiritual shower? I want a destination, goddamn it!
Yes, I’m whining, and I’m continually reminded that this doesn’t make me (or anyone else) less worthy, or less Divine, but gods does it make me feel boring and gods does it make me wonder why I haven’t thrown my hands up and called it a day when I see other people pay lip service to parts of my path that I cling to, tooth and nail. Why do I keep putting one put in front of the other, sometimes at a run but more often at a crawl, when there is fulfillment in just pitching a tent where I am and half-assing the rest of the journey? Why do I need so much from my religious and spiritual life when other people are happy to coast? When the hell am I going to get where I’m going and feel that overwhelming sense of ubiety, of being in that definitive place?
(And now, I’m wondering why I have so many questions, and why the majority of my sentences are so much longer than other people’s sentences. Gah.)
When I try to answer these questions, I often get stuck in one of several loops – I begin arguing with myself about judging my own actions based on what other people do, or I enter a cul-de-sac of my own making where I check and re-check that I’m actually on a real religious path (and go in circles in the process), or I freeze in place and close my mental doors to anything new out of the fear that I am getting it wrong. I remember the heartbreak I felt when I realized that I would never find my place in Christianity, that the overwhelming love of God that the people around me had would never be mine, and I freeze in place, terrified that I am once again walking in a direction that will lead to despair. I hate these loops, and I’m sure that at least part of why I get into them is related to Depression.
The other part? Well…all humans have doubts, even if they don’t admit them, and it is perfectly natural for me to look at my path, and where I’ve been, and where I think I’m going, and say, “How do I know this is right?” I don’t have anything to measure my experiences against – there is no mile marker, or sign post, or scenic turnout to show that I will end up at a specific point that is recognized as The Ultimate Destination. And, for my path, I have to keep remembering that, well, that’s the point. Walking the path of the FlameKeeping Kemetic (or Kemetic FlameKeeper, depending on the day), and the path of Words Mean Things, means that I won’t reach a definitive end in this lifetime because the journey is the point. To move through my life, to learn new things and use them to grow myself and my connections, is my destination. To bring things into being through words, which are action, is my goal. There is no Xanadu in front of me; no mounting wave will roll me shoreward, and I will not lie, indolent, eating of lotus. The Journey, the Road, is my destination, and I have ubiety as long as I keep going.
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet…
“Roads Go Ever On – J R R Tolkien